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Seeing New Growth.

I’ve never made any bones about it.  Fall is my favorite and Spring is a very close second.
The only thing I have against either of them is the amount of damage they do to my sinuses.
I’ll refrain from showing you the arsenal of allergy medications sitting near my coffee pot 
or the pile of wadded up tissue on my nightstand.  {you’re very welcome.}

Every where I look, I see new growth.
We’ve been in this house less than a year, so it’s really amazing to see things that we planted
come back after our pathetic-no-snow-at-all-not-even-one-real-flake-winter.
We’re seeing things sprout up that we forgot we even planted.
All of this new growth I’m seeing has had me pondering if there’s any “new growth” in me.

Lent came and went.  It never is exactly what I dream of it being in my little whacked up head.
I have a tendency to romanticize things, which nearly always, always, always leaves me feeling disappointed.
Most of us are the same.
 We busy ourselves each and every Lenten season trying our hardest to contemplate his sacrifice.
Some of us give up a guilty pleasure or three.
 Some of us give up nothing, declaring that it’s not about what we can give up but about his ultimate sacrifice.
I’ve tried just about everything, and the same old, familiar feeling comes every year.

I’m not enough.  
On the years when I’ve given up something, I’m pierced with the truth that my sacrifice isn’t enough.
On the years when I’ve decided not to give up anything, I’m reminded that my lack of sacrifice isn’t enough.

You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson here or here, but that would just be too easy.

This year has been no different.  I gave up something this go around…except not really.
I think I made it three days.  Epic Fail.

Not surprisingly, it was in my failure {once again} that I saw the new growth He has sprouted in me.
I’m not wearing the failure, like I usually attempt to do,
 which for me means I’m one step closer to not trying to earn or keep his love.

I think I’m done trying to romanticize this somber season.
I think it’s supposed to be hard. It reminds me that HE is enough…the perfect sacrifice.
After all, the wrestling that occurs in my heart and mind during Lent is exactly what draws me to him.

{thankful for}
760. blue skies
761. grass turning green
762. flowering trees
763.  allergy medications
764. soft tissue for nose blowing!
765. warmer temperatures
766. a maturing oldest
767. an inquisitive middle
768. a tender youngest

slip4 - I agree with everything you have said. All that about Fall and Spring. And I sort of gave up on Lent a few years back, not proud to say. Growing up in my hometown Baptist church, there wasn’t really any discussion about Lent and giving something up, and when I was exposed to it in college, it was mostly with my Catholic friends so I saw it as something they did. I did give things up, almost as a game to keep my friends company (oh, this sounds so bad!). As an adult, I tried a more serious approach but like you said, it was never enough. I still felt like maybe I was playing a game, realizing that I was not experiencing anything close to Jesus’ sacrifice. When I first saw The Passion of the Christ movie, I felt more anguish about the sacrifice than ever before.

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage - I gave up a lot of different foods for lent. My reasoning for so many was that each time I missed the food I would turn my mind to Jesus instead and I don’t eat the same foods everyday. The first three days went great…meal time would come, I would realize I couldn’t eat bread and I would start singing to Jesus and be filled with joy. I never did “cheat”, but after the first few days I found that meal time is a difficult time to turn my thoughts to Jesus. It is just such a busy time with kids. The last few days I was just starting to get really annoyed with the things I couldn’t eat! So over all my lent felt like a fail. I was craving a hamburger so bad we actually went to Smashburger for lunch on Easter and I made us a nice dinner later. :)
How is your ear doing? Has your hearing been restored?

paige - oh man, i love this.
i love that you’re not wearing the failure. i know i can personally just beat myself up for the whatever i did or didn’t do verses just going straight on to him!
i felt a some of that around lent too. i didn’t give up diet coke or chocolate or facebook. i didn’t spend as much time in the word as i wanted to….i agree, i often times romanticize the someber season and then sorta come up short.
He shows his love to us inspite of all that and THAT is what continues to blow me away. season after season. easter morning after easter morning.

your images are beautiful
and your words just fresh and true. felt like i was just sitting right beside you
xo

soulstretchesandsteps - Girl,

I can relate! I sat there in church on Easter Sunday with tears in my eyes, recognizing the somber reality of the cross and being thrust into the power and joy of the resurrection. I didn’t take the time to sit in the reality of Lent like I wanted but am so grateful that God let me process a good deal of the emotion surrounded around the crucifixion and resurrection. Trust me, I thought too much on Easter but appreciated the truth God offered me as I filtered through all that brain chaos. I stand with you in the disappointment of a seemingly failed attempt at Lent but I sure am grateful that it reminds me of the extravagant grace of God at the cross. Isn’t good in spite of us? I’m so grateful…

much love!
Em

Christy - Love this post. I’m glad someone else romanticizes things. I tend to romanticize everything! Glad God is so gracious and patient. Not having had the experience of growing up in a Liturgical church, I haven’t always observed Lent. Actually, I have only begun the past few years, but I enjoy the time. I think it’s good to take time and remember His sacrifice for us…His incomprehensible love…and focus on His love in the month or so leading up to Easter. The past few Easters have been much more Christ-centered for me because of the time spent focusing on Him beforehand. I like it like that. :) Your photos are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.
Christy <3

rustichoney.com - Very inspirational! Nicely written! I am hoping this spring brings much new growth to my world as well!

Janie Fox - Oh this rings true for me. I had plans to read about the ones so pivotal in those final days and my reading just fell so short. I was disgusted with myself that I failed to follow thru with my plans. I start out great and then slowly fall back into old patterns. I sit to read and then hop up to switch laundry around, answer a text, clean something I see needs attention and then boom the day is gone and my reading never got finished.
Your flowers look awesome. We had a foot of snow this time last week. My porches look terrible and my beds all need cleaned. I keep telling myself it’s always May here before the weather is truly fit for gardening but man I dislike the dirty way it all looks.

Megan - I have never tried giving up for Lent. I didn’t grow up in a Christian / religious home, so when I became a Christian I never really had any of those traditions. I have pondered it in years of late, but have never gotten to the point of actually trying it mainly because I anticipate I wouldn’t be able to keep Christ as my focus…I think I would end up my focus. As always, beautifully said and I can relate even though I can’t. Make sense?

Mindy Whipple - We are never enough but He is always enough in us. So thankful for that grace.

LLH Designs - I”m loving this post today, Tara. Just what I needed. Somehow reading it a few days late feels right on time. XO!

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